Cask of Amontillado Evaluative Essay

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Edgar Allen Poe lived a turbulent life. Orphaned before the age of 3 he was raised in foster care in Richmond Virginia. He later was forced to drop out of West Point due to gambling debt. Later, after finding work as a magazine editor, he worked to publish most of his work in order to support his 13 year old wife (and cousin), who had tuberculosis. Two years after her passing he died at the age of forty.

1. In the story, “The Cask of Amontillado”, Montresor justifies the cruel murder of Fortunato by stating the “thousand injuries” and an “insult” against him. Based off of the text I believe these to actually not be intentional harm by Fortunato. In fact, I believe them to be based off impunity, or exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action. I believe that Montresor sees Fortunato of reaping the benefits he doesn’t deserve for something. Seeing as the Montresor family motto, “Nemo me impune lacessit”, directly translates to “No one insults me with impunity” It could very well be a matter of family pride. Montresor obviously feels that his family name should receive the benefits that Fortunato so wrongfully has claimed. Thus deeming the murder of this man a necessary deed. 2. I don’t find Montresor to be a reliable narrator; however that seems to work in favor of the story. He’s unreliable in the fact that his view of the events are completely one sided. He doesn’t tell you what events actually happened to justify the murder which in turn makes you question his motive as being plausible. This one sided perspective creates a sense of instability in our narrator and makes the reader question his sanity. 3. Montresor has a fairly twisted sense of preserving personal honor; however his concept of honor and what it means to have honor is fairly sound. To Montresor, when one insults his honor, he must reestablish respect from the person defiling his honor and his name. This concept still exists in today’s...
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